Oh god, that is just so cute and sweet and adorable and yet angsty and so much emotion and... gah, there's just so much in this, packed together, that I don't really know where to start.
I really love how you've characterised Dennis. He's absolutely Colin's little brother, from start to finish. He's annoyed by him, he looks up to him, he tags along with him just /because/, he misses him, he loves him, sometimes he hates him... you've really caught the dichotomy and the tumble of emotions such relationships are (speaking as the eldest sister of three, I know :P).
Also, I lovelovelove the style you've written it in. Admittedly, I've never read the book you've based it off, but I think you really took the style and made it your own, you know? The way you used the photographs to tell the story, rather than the other way round, if that makes sense, worked so well. Plus, it's /Colin/ and photos were so much a part of his life that it suits it so perfectly. I'm not sure you could have written this any other way.
I did notice a couple of mistakes here and there but I've forgotten where they were, so they can't have been that important, right? :P And they didn't throw me off balance reading this or stop me from enjoying it or anything, so it's not that big a deal. Everyone is entitled to make a couple of typos or some such here or there ;)
The way you've pulled out certain important and not-so-important moments for Colin and Dennis is incredible. I love the way you included his petrification (which was no doubt a huge turning point in his life), and his parents reaction to finding out he's dead. It just really brought it home that he was so young and so innocent and so many bad things happened to him, you know? Getting petrified in his first year and then getting killed when he's only sixteen/seventeen for a cause he doesn't really know about... gosh, you've really highlighted his qualities as well: he's not just the little boy we saw always popping up and adoring Harry, trying to take pictures at every moment - he's patient and he's kind and he's slightly obsessive and he's creative and he's brave. You've really made him a proper, real person, which I really, really love.
One thing I did notice is that you talk about all of the pictures as though they're muggle ones, but I think I remember a point in one of the books where Colin says he wants to make them move like magical ones. Seeing as it can't be any more difficult than developing normal photos, I'm not sure why you've missed this out. Like before, though, it doesn't detract anything from the story, if anything it adds to the idea that he was looking into a new, different world and his youth and everything.
I'm sorry I'm saying love so much, it probably doesn't really help you much if you're looking for constructive criticism, but, honestly, I'm struggling to find anything to say that you could improve on (I like to try and say something to authors because it's nice to help someone improve, you know?). This was just lovely - really, really lovely.
Well done. Loved it :)
Author's Response: Hi there, Aph! Sorry it's taken my a few days to respond to your very lovely review! Thank you so much for this :D I'm just so incredibly flattered by all the compliments and I'm glad you enjoyed the story! The idea for this story came very easily to me because...well...it's not original xD
As I mentioned in the disclaimer, the whole concept is pretty much influenced by the short story I read. In that story, the narrator is looking through an album of photos taken by her recently dead mother and starts recounting moments of her life. But I do believe that this idea has been used several times (I recall films where people looking at photos start to reveal their stories and all :D ) I read that story years ago, but it came to mind recently and made me want to write a story like that. Immediately Colin came to mind :)
Yeah the mistakes XD I was too eager to get the fic into the queue! They've been corrected and an edited version has been submitted for validation!
I'm so glad you thought Colin's characterisation was done well! It's probably the main focus of the fic! And yes, that sounds like him: patient and obsessive and brave and rather inappropriate at times :p
I didn't recall Colin's quip about making his pictures move in the books! I don't have my novels with me right now so I recall things by memory or whatever's available in the Lexicon / HP Wiki. However, I really did consider bringing the whole topic of wizarding photos into the story, perhaps contrast them to Muggle photos and show Colin's stance toward them. But in the end I scrapped that idea. I'm not quite sure it would've worked as well for me at least, I was trying to focus on a certain angle - about stasis and time and all those big weird things bahaha :D
Thank you sososo much for your glowing review, Aph! I really appreciate the length and detail of it. Thanks for your lovely comments! Glad you agreed to do the swap with me :)